My charcoal grill temperature controller!

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by aeroguy, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. aeroguy

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    40
    2
    Hi All,

    I got a ceramic grill in 2010, and have loved it and used it extensively. I wanted a temperature controller so I could do other things (such as sleep) while smoking or drying things.

    I've chipped away at a few iterations of one over the last couple of years, and am now completely finished.

    Check out this video of it in use:

    https://vimeo.com/90480641

    Please let me know what you guys think! Many thanks to everyone here who helped me along the way.

    Kind regards,
    Eric
     
    JohnInTX likes this.
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    Please read the rules of the Completed Projects forum.

    This project has sat in limbo basically because it didn't meet the above requirements. If you want to resubmit this entry please rework the entry to meet the requirements, then drop one of the moderators a PM pointing to it. If it is acceptable a moderator can move it back to the Completed Projects forum and clean up notices and suggestions (making them invisible).

    Just to add insult to injury, the site you hosting video from requires users to log in, unlike YouTube.

    When you add the necessary plans I will move this thread back to The Completed Projects Forum and remove this post.
     
  3. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    3,869
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    I enjoyed the video (didn't have to log in,) and am impressed with the performance. Did you build the damper parts or is that a commercially available add-on. I hope that you will post the details of the project.
     
  4. aeroguy

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    40
    2
    Sorry - I thought the guys on here would like to see the project they assisted with in action.

    Vimeo requires no login, and is much less commercialized than youtube FYI.

    No worries, feel free to delete the thread.
     
  5. aeroguy

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    40
    2
    Thanks Tracecom. I fabricated the damper hardware on an NC laser. I made a version in steel first, then aluminum.
     
  6. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    I have wanted a BGE for a long time, but I'm too tight to buy one. After seeing your video, I was just about to google for DIY projects.

    Do you plan to commercialize your controller?
     
  7. aeroguy

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    40
    2
    The BGE (or another similar ceramic grill) is well worth the coin. You can use it for everything from drying spices to searing tuna, and it still operates well in extreme cold. If you think of it as a real appliance, it's actually quite a steal IMO.

    No plans for commercialization. I thought of it early on, but I've decided it's too low-value, and I'm actually a bit sick of the subject.

    It has been fun to show other electronics/controls people, as well as cooking enthusiasts the video though. Conversing with interested parties such as yourself is the payoff.

    Let me know what you decide on the grill. ;)
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    Not sure what happened the first time, it took me to the web site and asked me to log in, but it worked the second time.

    As I mentioned, the only reason this is not in The Completed Projects Forum is the lack of plans and documentation. The Projects Forum is a good alternative if you don't feel like releasing them.

    I am curious what is keeping the servo from overheating.
     
  9. aeroguy

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 16, 2009
    40
    2
    Plans and such will follow soon - I just need to organize.

    Good question about the heat issue. Interestingly, the external surface area of the plate is sufficiently large to dissipate a lot by convection. I looked at it with IR and the temperature really drops off as soon as your an inch or so away from the damper ports.

    Also, I "knecked " down the damper material width as it approaches the damper itself to reduce the x-section area of the conduction path for heat, just as a precaution.

    The material they make the servo cases out of escapes me at the moment, but I researched it a couple years ago and determined that it could get really hot (like nearly 300F) before getting into trouble.

    Thanks for the question and interest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
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    Any photos? I hate loading videos on a slow internet connection.
    :)
     
  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    A suggestion, when you do get things organized start a new thread from scratch, with all the pictures and what not locally posted. Use the guidelines I posted. I would also be interested in the make and model of the grill, it looks like pretty thick ceramic or iron.
     
  12. reinhart36

    New Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    1
    0
    Sounds good. Please let me know of what length to set it at as well, so it turns out as you'd like.
     
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